British Journal of Ophthalmology, 1987, 71, 746-747
Serious eye injury in badminton players
S P KELLY
From the Department of Ophthalmology, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE] 5WW
SUMMARY Serious eye injury can occur in badminton players and may become more frequent. The
causes and nature of such injuries in this sport in six patients are discussed. All were playing
competitive doubles matches. Penetrating eye injury due to a shattered glass spectacle lens
occurred. Players should be advised not to wear spectacles with glass lenses. Ocular protection in
this sport is desirable, and the forward player should hold the racket in front of the face.
The ophthalmologist's role in reporting the hazards servatively. All were experienced players, playing
to the eye in various sports is increasingly important.' doubles at a competitive level. Only case 1 wore
Ocular injuries in ice hockey and squash have spectacles. All had at least 6/6 Snellen corrected
generated a considerable literature and preventive vision in the uninvolved eye.
measures have been advised in those games." Eye
injuries in badminton have been reported by Table 1 Clinical details ofpatients
Chandran in Malaysia,"7 with a peak during the 1970
Thomas Cup. Blonstein,8 who has been associated Most
Case Age,sex Eye Injury recent VA
with squash and badminton sports medicine since
1946, reported that 'on the whole serious eye injuries 1 35 M L Corneoscleral perforation, uveal 6/9
are extremely rare in badminton'. prolapse, glass intraocular FB
2 61 F L Hyphaema, sphincter pupillae tear 6/9
Six serious eye injuries from badminton play are 3 20 F R Retinal dialysis and detachment 6/9
reported here in the hope of encouraging better 4 16 M R Hyphaema, choroidal rupture CF
ocular protection in this popular sport. involving macula
5 30 M R Angle recession glaucoma, LP
Subjects and methods 6 56 M R Hyphaema, angle recession 6/9
glaucoma, optic atrophy
Six patients with eye injuries from playing badminton
were examined by the author at the Leicester Royal FB=foreign body. CF=counting fingers at 0-3 m. LP=perception
Infirmary. All were local amateur players. One other of light only.
patient, who sustained aninjury in India from a Table 2 Sports injury details
shuttlecock causing retinal detachment, is not
included, though he was treated in this hospital. Four No ofyears playing
patients sustained their injuries in 1985 and were seen Case Injury badminton
in the acute phase. Case 3 sustained injury in 1982, 1 Partner's racket broke player's glass 30
case 6 in 1979; both stilLrequire outpatient treatment. spectacles
2 Hit by opponent's shuttlecock, smash 40
Results stroke at net
3 Hit by opponent's shuttlecock, smash 6
stroke at net
Table 1 gives the age, sex, nature of ocular injury, 4 Hit by opponent's shuttlecock, smash 5
and most recent visual acuity. Table 2 records the stroke at net
details of play when injury occurred. Three patients 5 Hit by partner's shuttlecock, smash 12
needed surgery; the others have been treated con- stroke while turning to face him
6 Hit by opponent's shuttlecock, smash 20
stroke at net
Correspondence to Mr S P Kelly, FRCSEd, Manchester Royal Eye
Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WH. All players were playing competitive doubles matches.
Serious eye injury in badminton players 747
Discussion ratio, it is probable that more cases of serious eye
injury will occur in this sport. This small cluster of six
Badminton results in few injuries, mostly minor, such serious eye injuries in this hospital from badminton
as cramps, blisters, and sprains.9 Only 6% of all may signify a trend if players continue to play without
injuries are due to the shuttlecock and 7% to the protecting their eyes.
racket.9 These rarer direct injuries are often to the Vinger recommends that all racket players wear
eye and may be severe, as shown in this series. eye protection and describes the appropriate pro-
Serious ocular injury is recognised in ice hockey,2 ducts available.' Uniocular players should be especi-
squash rackets," tennis," and golf," but no previous ally mindful of this advice. In addition, prescribers of
report of perforating eye injury in badminton was spectacles should advise badminton players to wear
found in the literature. Badminton is a very popular toughened plastic lenses in sturdy spectacle frames.
sport and often played in schools. The vision in case A shattered glass spectacle lens in sport causing
4, a schoolboy aged 16, is permanently and severely serious eye injury may have possible medicolegal
reduced. implications to the spectacle prescriber as well as
None of these players wore eye protection. Case 1, being a preventable cause of blindness.
who was wearing spectacles with glass lenses, was
under the false impression that they provided some players. I thankwith consultants at advice given to me by badminton
the Leicester Royal Infirmary for
protection. Had he been wearing toughened, plastic allowing me to report on patients under their care.
lenses when hit he might have been spared such References
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